JoAnn Borovicka

JoAnn's Blog

Welcome to my blog! Here you will find short reflections, connections I've noticed that I'd like to pursue in future research, and various items that have caught my attention related to Bahá'i studies and Christian scholarship.


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Mystical Unity - Baha'i Writings and the Gospel of John

By JoAnn Borovicka, Apr 1 2017 08:44PM

I am struck with how effectively the Gospel of John drives home the foundational religious truth of unity in diversity in its very first line: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God.” The Word is at once God and with God, this is mystical relationship. It states that the essence of creation, from the beginning, is all about relationship. If I look for it, this unity in diversity I can find it throughout the gospels. Some scholars (such as Richard Rohr) call it “moral equivalency.”

• There is a mystical unity between the Manifestation of God and God: “I and the Father are one” (John 10:30).

• There is a mystical unity between the Manifestation of God and “others.” Jesus says, “Whatever you do to others, you do to me” (Matthew 25:40).

• There is a mystical unity between any person and every other person: “In everything, do to others as you would have them do to you; for this is the law and the prophets” (Matthew 7:12).

• And there is a mystical unity between any person and God: “The Spirit is within you” (John 14:17). Human and divine, matter and spirit, operate in unity.

One thing I take away from this is that, in this mystical unity, in this world of creation based on divine relationship, love is one fabric: how I love others is how I love myself and God; how I love God is how I love others and myself; how I love myself is how I love God and others.

This mystical relationship based on unity in diversity is taught again and again in the Baha’i Writings. ‘Abdu’l-Baha states, “All parts of the creational world are part of one whole”, “one laboratory of might”, “The organization of God is one; the evolution of existence is one; the divine system is one” (Some Answered Questions, pp. 182, 199).

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